September 10th, 2009
01:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama accepts apology

(CNN) - President Obama said Thursday he accepted Rep. Joe Wilison's apology for the South Carolina Republican's outburst Wednesday night.

"I'm a big believer that we all make mistakes," the president noted during a Cabinet meeting. But it's important to have a debate "without
vitriol. ... Our goals are generally the same whether we're Democrats or Republicans."

Wilson insisted that his outburst was "spontaneous" and agreed with the White House that the health-care debate merits "a civil discussion."

One top Republican, however, also opined that Wilson's outburst reflected the strong passion being generated by the health-care debate.

"We ought to have civil discourse in America, but don't underestimate the amount of emotion that people are feeling," said House Minority Leader John Boehner.


Filed under: Joe Wilson • President Obama
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Hunter

    Yeah, don't underestimate the amount of emotion that corporate lapdogs and bigots are feeling as Obama loosens their stranglehold on the nation's lower and middle classes!

    September 10, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. Alex

    Correction: Joe Willison is from South Carolina, not Virginia. (R-SC)

    September 10, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Our President is a Class Act! I find it very Christan of him to forgive.

    September 10, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Randolph Carter, the narcissistic, socialist Obamabot

    There once was a fella named Boehner
    Who'd do anything for a donor
    I'm willing to bet he's somebody's pet
    And the insurance firms are his owner

    Have a nice day!

    September 10, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Lori in St Pete

    Suggestion for a new rethuglican theme song: LIT’s My Own Worst Enemy:

    It's no surprise to me I am my own worst enemy
    'Cause every now and then I kick the living s*#t out of me
    Can we forget about the things I said when I was drunk?
    I didn't mean to call you that

    Wilson's only sorry because he's getting such bad press.

    September 10, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Suzan

    What are you saying that he should be forgiven for having the emotional feelings he has about Heath Care.......well if you think Wilson got emotional how do you think the people in this country feel that have NO Health Care and they see that you Republicans don't care one way or the other whether they get it or not, none of you act like you are trying to work with this President, instead you all are eager and ready to stop everything the President says or does........calling everything he says a lie, calling him a socialist. Start acting like you care........

    September 10, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Mark Farrow

    Rep. Joe Wilson apparently apologized to the President only becaus his party leadrship told him to. Wilson should issue a real apology to the entire country for his juvenile and embarrassing behavior.

    September 10, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Dan from Ohio

    Joe Wison can say whatever he want to Barak Obama-Col. Joe wilson may not speak that way to the Commander in Chief-Courtmartial???

    September 10, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Janna

    Rep. Joe Wilson's "spontaneous" outburst made be proud to be a Democrat.

    September 10, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. DS

    I worked in Congress in the 1980s when Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were president. While I often found their policy positions detestable, I had respect for the sitting president. Members of Congress did, too, especially from the floor of the House of Representatives. If Congressman Wilson cannot show appropriate self-control on the floor of the House of Representatives and on live television, for heaven's sake, does this man have the temperament to hold public office?

    September 10, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Julie

    I'm very sorry, but I just cannot agree with our president on his idea of reforming health care. I've tried very hard to have an open mind. I have a son (Doctor) who supports the President on the fact that he is trying hard to do something to fix the big mess with health care. And I also have a daughter-in-law (also a doctor), my son's wife...who strongly disagrees with Mr. Obama. For the life of me, Mr. President...How the heck do you plan to pay for this. I am not ignorant...I am truly trying to understand. I am tired of giving handouts to people that do not want to work, and the government just wants to give it all free to all those that are lazy. Whatever happened to work hard and you can become something of yourself so you can be self sufficient.

    September 10, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. cph9680

    Considering that Obama lied in the first five minutes of his speech, I think what Wilson did was validated.

    What is Obama doing about the unemployment situation? I mean, aside from whining and crying, what is he doing?

    September 10, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. Donna Hermann

    As a fellow Ohioan, Mr. Boehner, I don't think ANYONE underestimates the amount of emotion we are all feeling regarding this very important issue. It NEVER excuses bad behavior! Grow up Mr. Wilson. Your actions were that of a badly behaved child.

    September 10, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. Thebe

    Wilson should take a lesson from a man with class: President Obama.

    September 10, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. BJs65

    Obama is the classy guy I always thought he was. He handled this situation very well I must say. Good for you Barack Obama. You da man!

    September 10, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Craig in VA

    When is Obama going to start issuing apologies instead of expecting them??? Huh???

    September 10, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. annie s

    A classy man, and one I am proud to have lead our great country. Mr. Obama was effective and stirring last night, and hopefully his straight talk will put an end to the liars and naysayers who want to sink reform only so they can sink his Presidency. He showed us, with his intelligence, grace, fire and fortitude, that they will not break him of his resolve to do what is right for the American people. Thank you Mr. President!

    September 10, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. jaye

    The only people that don't want healthcare reform are those that already have health insurance, or are already living off the government, or just want to bring President Obama down.
    Joe Wilson is a disgusting disgrace, followed by the others that are spreading lies and hate and filth....aka the republican party.
    I hope all these republicans lose their jobs and their healthcare and their welfare!

    September 10, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Ricket

    He just distracted the attention of the American public on the plethora of exaggerations and outright falsehoods made by the President. Poor manners and he hurt his own cause. Now if it was a liberal it was of been seen as normal behavior and all good as witnessed by Bush years.

    September 10, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. historian

    President Obama, once again, shows what a great man he is to forgive and accept the apology of such a small man.

    September 10, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Melissa

    Obama is a bigger man than any of the Republicans. Though it was nice to hear that Republicans took issue with Wilson too.

    September 10, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. FORMER repubublican, NEVER again!

    republicans are disgusting! It's not enough that they DESTROYED this country but they oppose anything done by President Obama to try and restore it. It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that they can't accept that a black man is President, would it???? I am a middle aged white man by the way who is disgusted by my FORMER party.

    September 10, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Hats Off to Rep. Joe Wilson for his comment. He was telling it like it is. Finally, someone who has the guts to say it like it is!!!

    September 10, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. VON BISMARK -Vienna

    Accoeding to Boehner it is but normal that he should be overtaken by emotion-defending special interest.

    September 10, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Florida Joe

    "We ought to have civil discourse in America, but don't underestimate the amount of emotion that people are feeling," said House Minority Leader John Boehner.

    ***********************************************************************
    For once could this guy admit that what was Rep Wilson did last night was WRONG.........Repubs were so worried about what the President would say to our school children....How will these same children react to this incident???????............I think Mr Miller said it best......Another politician that has embarrased South Carolina............Rep Wilson should be ashamed of himself .....................We can only hope the 2010 election solves our problems and rids the Congress of both Boehner & Wilson

    September 10, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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